Dream of a City of Ruin by Selah J. Tay-Song
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I thought that Dream of a Vast Blue Cavern was a really good read. Then, I got distracted by other books, as I usually am. So when I finally got round to picking up this book (the sequel), I went back and re-read my review of the first book to kind of brush up my memory. I probably didn't need to. Tay-Song is a master fisher(wo)man who reels you in so effortlessly, that like a fish on a hook you just go with the flow!
The Icer Queen Stasia of Iskalon finds herself stranded alone in a strange, endless cave, with her enemy, Fire King Dynat of Chraun, as her only companion. She doesn't trust Dynat, but she's not sure if she can trust the foreign Khell tribes who offer them grudging assistance due to their own ancient prophecies. There's so much about this land that she needs to learn in order to survive - and there's so much more that she needs to learn about the history of her own race and her own kingdom in order to be able to figure out how to ensure their continued survival.
Whilst firmly established in the mythical world of QaiMaj, revelling in the magic of T'Jas, this book (and the series so far) touches on several real-world issues as well: race, wealth and privilege, and culture. Tay-Song explores very thoroughly the race relations between Iskaloners, Chraunians and Humans, and how these relations are affected also by the individual cultures of each society. It also looks at privilege, and how sometimes the poor are supposedly given choices and opportunities to work their way up in society, but because they do not have the resources so readily available to those who are already have at least some form of privilege, these opportunities are really a Catch-22.
The interludes that messed me up a little in book 1 start to make sense now as the story starts to pull together so much more. Tay-Song still uses these slightly-disjointed interludes between major sections of the story, but it's not as awkward now as the many different threads in this book starts to get pulled together.
I'll just end this review by saying that I really loved the book and can't wait for book 3! Because, you know, I really want to know how this story ends. :)
* I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review
View all my reviews
I reviewed book 1 here!
Also, a guest post from Selah here!